Allergic Reaction To A Wasp Sting

A split second is all it takes, and your life is changed irreversibly for ever. If I had stopped for even a split second during our walk with the Dogs the other week then I would not have a condition that is now going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

I got stung by a wasp.

I got stung by a wasp and within 5 minutes my leg had swollen up and was extremely sore. Within 10 I was covered from head to toe in white bumps. By 15 minutes I was bright red in the face and my head felt like it was going to explode. I was boiling hot and yet shivering at the same time.

I didn’t really know what was going on apart from the fact that I was scared.

Death, which comes to all of us (even me it seems, which came as somewhat of a shock), felt very close indeed.

We went down to the village doctor where I was given 2 injections and I was already beginning to feel better.

But, and this is the part that is still freaking me out, he gave me 2 needles and 2 vials of adrenalin. I will now have to go and get a proper pen like an EpiPen for convenience and carry it with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life.

Anaphylactic shock if I get stung again is a very real possibility it seems. My throat may constrict and I could be dead and gone and you will have to read another blog (gasp!).

A split second can change your whole life.

Life is very short and it really has brought it home to me. As I ponder my impending death and the fragility of all life I can at least look back on my 38 years and say that I think I did alright. I have had an extremely happy home life and although I am not the most confident, good looking, glamorous or socially amenable kind of guy I am sure it could have been a lot worse.

This here life is so fragile it is not even funny.

If you have things that you want to do, if your home life sucks, if you really cannot stand another year in the situation you are in then you bloody well better do something about it.

Or you may find your last few seconds of your life, as you lie at the base of a ladder, curb, railing, tin of beans, banana, really rather pathetic, and all you can say is:

“Oh, Fuck”.

And then it is off to meet your God of choice.

He/She may be a bit pissed at you for wasting what could have been glorious.

78 Responses to “Timing”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Bea says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Dave, although I’m glad you were able to get to a doctor in time. The trouble with allergies is that we usually only find out we’re allergic when we encounter the situation.

    You’re right about life, too. I recently lost my best friend very suddenly, and it has shaken my thinking about my own life, what I’ve done, and what I’m going to do.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks Bea, I know it is not the topic of this blog but hey, it’s MY blog 😉

      Sorry to hear about your loss Bea, it really is amazing how fragile life is so we must try to make the absolute most of it.

  2. Terry says:

    Whoa that is scary. You’re lucky you got to the village doc in time mate!

    Getting stung by wasps is something I took in my stride when I was living up the mountain. The bloody things were building nests all over the place. But one experience I had will chill you to the bone now that you had that experience.

    A few years ago, I went up to my mountain farm to clear some long grass for the summer. I have an old Land Rover that I leave parked halfway up the steep track that goes up to my cabin, so I can run it down the hill and bump start it (dead battery) then drive back up. I hadn’t been up there in several months and the last time I went up there, a few rats had made their home in the Land Rover, so I had to get a big stick and chase them out before I could drive it up the hill with my stuff.

    On this occasion, it was early morning in early September and I opened the Land Rover with my big stick ready to chase out rats. There were none I could see, but I banged the stick on the seats anyway just in case. Still no rats, so I jumped in and bumped the Land Rover down the track to get it started. At the bottom of the track where I’d parked the car, I stopped, turned the Land Rover around and then loaded it up with my big strimmer and some other tools from out the car. I jumped back in and started to trundle up the steep, bumpy track.

    About three quarters of the way up, I noticed a couple of wasps had got in through the open window and were hovering around me. I casually swatted them away with my cap but suddenly more came at me. It was then I looked over and got the shock of my life. There was a huge wasps nest attached to the passenger door and they were pouring out of it in large numbers and I got the impression they were not in the best of moods at being disturbed.

    I floored the gas to get up the last really steep part of the track so I could park on a fairly flat stretch up ahead and bail. But they started stinging me on my bare arms and legs and I lost control of the Rover and drove into a ditch I’d dug the previous year. I bailed and ran up to the house.

    Man, those stings bloody hurt like mad! I got inside and grabbed a bottle of vinegar I kept in the kitchen and dabbed it on all the stings – about 10 or so of them. That calmed the pain a lot and in a few minutes, I was ok, shaken but not stirred. I knew I wasn’t allergic cause I’d been stung before by the odd one here and there.

    What happened next annoyed the hell out of me more than anything else.

    I grabbed a big can of fly spray and took it back to the Land Rover, closed the window and door and sprayed that mo-fo till they were all dead! The engine was still running (remember, dead battery), so I jumped in with the intention of driving it out of the ditch. You can do that with a Land Rover, they are the best thing in the world for off road stuff like that. I stuck it in gear, gunned the gas and let up the clutch nice and slow and…

    stalled it!

    To this day, that Land Rover is still stuck in that ditch! I’m going to buy a new 4×4 soon and get up there again and pull it out. That’s the plan anyway. I’ll be on my guard for wasps nests and make sure I have vinegar and fly spray at the ready…

    • Dave says:


      That was a great story, Man you have a way with words.

      I know it isn’t funny but that really made me laugh. And I can’t thank you enough for that Terry. I was feeling a bit down after writing this blog post and that really did cheer me up. Not the stinging bit, that freaked me right out, but the Land Rover stalling is a classic. Perfect timing Dude, perfect 😉

  3. Mariano says:

    Wish you all good Dave!

  4. daveh says:

    You are right – this life is fragile. I’m married to a lovely woman who has a genetic disease that could kill her in just a few weeks if it turns for the worse. You would never know it to meet her. She works, laughs, loves just like anyone else – but it is always there.

    She matter-of-factly takes her meds, does 2 hours of therapy a day (on top of 2 hours commuting and work) and gets on with life.

    Knowing her, loving her and watching the grace with which she deals with this has been one of the great teaching experiences of my life.

    She’s my hero.

    • Dave says:


      Very moving daveh, you sound like you are a very lucky man indeed to be able to share your life with someone like that.

  5. Tracey says:

    Holy Fuck!

    I’m so glad you are ok! Whoa. Scary stuff.

    t xx

  6. Shaun L says:

    I know it’s not a nice thing to find out you have an allergy, but like Bea said you never know you have one till you react. On the brightside at least you found out now rather then when you’re older and less able to handle it? Or didn’t get attacted by a large number like Terry? Lol.

    I work with kids (And always will no matter how I earn online, I love my job) and you see all different types of allergies. From the usual nut ones which gives the same kind of reaction to what you’re talking about, to kids allergic to ballons, celery, and grass!

    A bit of advice, practice using an epi pen on an orange at first. The first time I tried to use one, I done it too hard and made a bit hole in orange. I’m just glad I tried it on there rather the a child’s leg lol.

    • Shaun L says:

      *big hole. Excuse the mistakes, replied on my phone. Just on my lunch break, the kids are at bowling. I made it back to the centre before it started raining, they’re gona be back any minute soaked lol.

    • Dave says:


      Good tip, thanks for that. I will do that when I get it. I think you can get test kits as well, for exactly the reason you pointed out.

  7. Ruth says:

    I can totally understand why that freaked you out a lot – I can only imagine, just glad to hear you’re ok. And you’re so right that we need to spend more time doing things that make us happy, and make a change to do so if we aren’t yet.

  8. Cat says:

    Glad you’re ok Dave – that must have been an upsetting experience 🙁

    I know what you mean about the death thing. Over the last year I’ve really woken up to the fact that life is short & isn’t going to last forever (no big traumas here – just that late-30s mid-life crisis thing creeping in lol). As a result I decided to work *only* on things I enjoy & that have meaning for me. I’m starting from scratch again in some areas of my business, but it’s worth it.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks, it was a very odd experience indeed.

      Life is certainly too short to spend it doing things you don’t like, especially if you have an alternative which many of us are lucky enough to have. Glad that you are doing exactly that Cat, I am sure it is a lot more fulfilling.

      My plan is to buy an Island once I get the new house, may be a few years yet though 😉 Of course, I will need a boat too, and someone who knows how to sail it! And a plane, must not forget that.

    • Bruno says:

      Cat, your comment reminded of this post of Justin Briggs I read some time ago where he has an interesting saying:

      “From here on out, do what you love.”


      Good read btw … (funny, he doesn’t rank in the first page for those exact kws, I had to dig it on the posts :D)

      That was tough Dave, glad you are alright now. It must have been a hell of a shock.

      • Dave says:


        Thanks, all good now and fighting fit. Just a little freaked still but not much.

      • Cat says:

        That’s an interesting article Bruno.

        I like where he says “If you want to succeed at something, give yourself no other choice.” I think my problem is that I’ve always had too many choices, and as a result have failed to focus on what I really want, and gone after the ‘easier’ options instead (which weren’t really easier, since I had to force myself into action every day, hating every minute). But that has changed now 😀

        • Isobel says:

          Cat, that could be my story too – too many choices! I knew a guy (past tense, you notice) who could never make a decision because he was always worried that the choices he DIDN’T make would have been better. Consequently he made none at all and at 60+ is struggling the same way he was 10 years ago – and he lost me 😛

          • Cat says:

            That is sad to hear Isobel. I’m glad I woke up & got on the right path before reaching that age!

  9. Gayan says:


    Hey man, I’m really sorry to hear about that, and I really am glad that you’re okay :/.

    I hope that I’d know what to say in these situations, I don’t, I just suck at these stuff :/.

    Anyhow, so basically you have to inject adrenalin on daily basis?, but why?. Isn’t it just supposed to get into the body and do the healing and shouldn’t it be enough?… , why the daily injecting is necessary?

    Anyway, I’m just glad that you’re doing okay Dave.

    • Dave says:


      Me too, I have a lot more life to live yet and I don’t want no wasp putting it to an abrupt end! Thanks for the kind words Gayan. You said it perfectly Dude, so no worries on that front. It is not for a daily thing, I just need to carry it with me in case I get a worse reaction next time. You then just inject it so it opens up the airways and gets the heart going if the worst happens.

      I think I will right now put a ban on wasps in Spain, that’ll teach ’em!

      • Gayan says:


        Ahh I get it… first I thought that you’d have to use it daily, so you’re fine!, lol.

        Also on the bright side (I think) at least how lucky you are not to have confronted by the same situation, say on a little “mountain adventure”, without knowing that you had such allergies + finding a doctor within that time-frame is almost impossible.

        But now, at least you know about your allergies and you’ll always have the injections for your rescue :). Wish you all good Dave…

  10. Carrie says:

    Yikes, that is scary! Make sure that pen is always with you.

    A friend of my parents died from a wasp sting at a picnic, still makes me sad to think about it. So tragic.

    Please tell me the opportunist for you isn’t starting a cheap Epi pen site now. Cheap white socks and cheap Epi pens – what more can a mountain traveler need?

    • Carrie says:

      opportunist for you

      opportunist IN you

    • Dave says:


      Bugger, you read my mind. There goes another niche. Should have kept my mouth shut. I can’t help myself Carrie, honestly I can’t. It’s an issue I have to deal with at some point 😉

      Sorry to hear about your parent’s friend, that is horrible.

  11. Mark says:

    Glad to hear you made it through, Dave!

    Life is fragile, and brushes like yours offer a quick dose of perspective. I’m a little off today myself. Got a call this morning that a neighbor took his own life late last night. His daughter babysits my kids from time to time; I work with his sons in our local Boy Scout troop.

    Hard to process the fact that last night while I’m watching some documentary on netflix, he’s making this tragic decision. Sorry to be so heavy in your comment thread; your comments struck a chord today.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks Mark, pretty relieved myself!

      That is awful, events like that really make you realize just how tough this life can be for some people. It is hard to imagine going through something like that and making that kind of decision, it must be awful for the children, unbelievable really.

      It is a valuable comment Mark, and appreciated. So much of what we do online is so superficial, we all pretend to be someone we are not half the time, being able to go somewhere and be honest now and then is therapeutic and is exactly why I want to be a little “real” here now and then.

  12. Adam says:

    Wasp stings can be quite dangerous, I have experienced honey bee stings. Life does give you a lot of surprises, some of them are quite unpleasant. The good thing is that you could get the medical help in time, it could have been a lot worse. Take Care

    • Dave says:


      Thanks. The bloody annoying thing is that since it happened a giant gang of wasps have decided that outside our front door is a great place to hang out. I think they heard there is a Man who doesn’t like them anymore and they are making a point!

  13. Carlo says:

    Catch those nasty wasps, make them sing, sell the songs and some make money off them!

    Here’s one song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh-OJdAkKVI&feature=related Not bad, huh?

  14. Suzanne says:

    Hope everything is OK Dave, what would we do without you and your blog!
    Trouble is for a while you will see wasps everywhere. You will be sure that they are stalking you.

    It is true that things like this brings it home to you how fragile life is, and how much time we all waste doing the things we don’t enjoy, and worrying about the things we can do nothing about.

    My friend got diagnosed with cancer and has had a hell of a year dealing with it. She is only a couple of years older than me, with two kids. It really is a bit of a wake up call, we should all make the most of what we have, and those we share it with.

    • Dave says:


      They really are, honest!

      Sorry about your friend Suzanne, that must be terrible for her to deal with. But you are right, events like that are a real wake up call.

  15. JanisG says:

    Good to hear that you are OK Dave!

    There is a lesson in a situation like this one, isn’t it?

  16. Lando says:

    Nice bit of perspective here Dave. Glad you’re still with us 🙂 When it’s your time, what color socks do you want to be wearing?

  17. Andy says:

    Thats crazy shit Dave. Glad your ok.

  18. ChrisCD says:

    Boy, scary stuff. But you have the right attitude. Life is precious and sometimes shortened in a second. Find ways to do what you love and be with those that you love.

    And the post may be off the MMO topic, but you warned us way back. This was your blog and you would do what you want.

    Sometimes a good dose of reality is what we need. I’m glad you are alright.

    cd :O)

    • Dave says:


      Yeah, I like the fact I can throw in non IM stuff here, it makes it more personal and enjoyable. Well, not the wasp bit though 😉

      Thanks for the kind words, it’s appreciated.

  19. teatree says:

    OMG that sounds awful. Glad you were able to get to the doctor in time.

    We had a paper wasp nest in the back garden a few years back, and we took the (some say cowardly, some say smart) decision not to do any further gardening till winter when the rain melted it and the wasps went away. Thank goodness for rainy weather!

    • Dave says:


      That is the problem here, they hang around for months and months, I think I need to buy a Land Rover like Terry did and see if they would all just go and live in that and leave me alone 😉

  20. Isobel says:

    Very glad you’re still with us, Dave. This blog wouldn’t be the same without you! 😛

    Seriously, you were probably always allergic and didn’t know it, and as someone else said, you could have found out in the middle of nowhere (where IS that?) Reframe – how lucky that you had a doctor close enough to give you the injection in time 🙂

    • Dave says:


      I suppose it would be “slightly” different if I weren’t here to write it 😉

      I think you are right, at least I found out when I was close enough to the village and not on a day ling hike or something. At least I can be prepared with adrenaline now and only ever hike where there is a mobile signal as well.

  21. Tara says:

    Shocking to read this Dave….and to think, had there not been a doctor nearby….we would have had one horrible end to this inspiring blog of yours.

    Yes, life is fragile indeed.

    Glad you’re back though 🙂

    • Dave says:


      Thanks, it means a lot. I think I would have been OK, even without the injections from the Doc, although I will never know. It seemed like the lumps all over me were starting to spread out and flatten down a little. But my head still felt like it was about to explode.

      The tingly lips was the worst bit as I was expecting to go in to anaphylactic shock as that is one of the signs. But after the injections from the Doc I felt a lot calmer.

      What a funny ‘ole world eh?

  22. Darrell says:

    Holly Shit Dave

    We never know what life has in store for us from day to day. Enjoy each like its your last. Good article to take a moment out of our day and think about our own lives and stuff.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks, great advice there. And as I have just finished an early morning weights work-out do I have your permission to not bother and just say it is my last day so I will have a cake instead 😉

      I’m knackered, can hardly type properly!

  23. JamestheJust says:

    Dave –

    Scary news, sorry to hear it. My family’s done the “Whole 30,” we’re eating the Paleo or Primal diet, whatever you want to call it. So for the whole 30, you eat no grains, no dairy, alcohol, nothing processed – all caveman food (grease and all, just natural food).

    Anyway, my 17 y/o daughter after the 30 days decides to eat a bit of a waffle cone or something with gluten in it (found in wheat products). Her throat constricts, she gets hives…and I’m upstairs sleeping.

    My wife and she told me the story and I about lost it – it’s early signs of anaphylactic shock, and neither of them realized that oh, yeah – our daughter’s apparently allergic to gluten out of the blue.

    Hope all goes well with you. I’ll have a list of epi-pen buying keywords for you if you need it…I just bought 80 domains. We’ll split ’em.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks. That is scary about your daughter. That could have been a close call as neither of them realized. Sounds like it is epi pens all round!

      Looking forward to the domains James, although I bet you I have the best keyword already lined up 😉

    • Bruno says:


      this history sounds very similar to a friend’s of mine. She travelled to India one year and she couldn’t eat properly over there, so she spent like a whole month eating whatever she could but mainly those protein bars …

      When she got back, something similar happened and now she has found out that she is allergic to gluten =/

      I had NO idea that simply EVERYTHING contains gluten … ok, almost everything … but it makes so damn hard to go out and eat anything

      Good she is well now. Wish you all the best for you and your family

    • Cat says:

      That reminds me of when I ate a 100% raw vegan diet for just over a year. I then had some plain steamed vegetables, and got ill! I reacted badly to other things too, which is common with people who follow restrictive diets. I still eat a ‘clean’ vegetarian diet, but wouldn’t want my body to become that sensitive again.

      I find being gluten-free is quite easy since I don’t like floury, processed food, though I don’t eat out much – that would certainly make things more difficult.

  24. Gerald says:

    I’m glad that you made it out Dave. Life is surely fragile that death could come at any unexpected time. It will be such a great loss if you suddenly stopped blogging since reading your blog is the reason that inspired me to blog.

  25. Blackthorne says:

    That’s quite an adventure you had there mate.

    A few weeks ago, I got stung by a what I thought was a wasp at first.

    I sat down on the toilet and the basterd stung me in my toe. Right through my sock.

    Needless to say I squished and flushed the little mofo.

    I had noticed more of these things in my home before. So I checked the attic and found a bee’s nest. Hidden in an unnoticeable spot.

    To build their nest, they had used filling material from my favorite big teddy bear which I’ve had from the time when I was still a kid.

    The bear now needs to be patched.

    I poisened the whole hyve and they dropped dead to the floor like bricks.

    They ain’t never gonna pull a stunt like that anymore. I’m checking that attic on a regular basis now.

  26. Suzanne says:

    Well, now you mention it!

  27. Abigail says:

    Hey Dave
    Just read this post, blimey dude, I am really pleased you are ok, and not just because we would miss your blog. You know blogs are funny things, here we are all these people that you have only met on your blog (well I am sure you know some personally, but generally speaking that is), and I really feel like I kind of know you. My point being that I sincerely am really relieved you are ok, as relieved if this had happened to one one of my mates. Thanks again for the great blog, and you look after yourself and wifey there. Hasta Luego 🙂

    • Dave says:


      Thanks for that, it means a lot, honestly. This virtual existence sure is odd, you really do feel like you get to know people, and without meeting them. Maybe we are all totally different in real life though. Shall we have a mass meet up and reveal ourselves ? 😉

      Take care Abigail.

  28. Bea says:

    Hi Dave,

    I hope I’m not touching on a sensitive subject, but could you give us (me) an update on whether or not you were able to find a good home for the puppy who tried to adopt you and your wife?

    Yes, I’m an animal lover and your concern for the puppy touched me.

    • Dave says:


      We still have her. She is going for her second injection tomorrow for Parvo. We have put posters up etc but no takers yet. Unfortunately she will have to go to the pound though once she is safe to do so, we already have 3 and 4 is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many. I don’t like doing it but once there I am sure someone will take her pretty quickly, she is very cute.

  29. Phil says:

    Dang that must have been a crazy experience! Makes you think… Even makes me think about the way I live..

    • Dave says:


      It was a mad one. I feel a little better now as after almost 3 hours waiting at the Doctors yesterday I have something akin to an Epipen or Anapen.

  30. Kasi says:

    Wow, Dave, that is so scary! You are so right about life being fragile. I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in June and I’m only 31 years old. That was definitely unexpected! I’m glad that you’re ok!

    • Dave says:


      Thanks, and I am so sorry to hear about your cancer. I hope that everything that can be done is being done and you get through it. Talk about a shock, look after yourself Kasi.

  31. jay says:

    Really makes you grateful doesn’t it? Many people have these moments, and although they change us briefly, any real lasting change is often short lived. For me, finding purpose, love, and gratitude in every moment possible is key and something I have to constantly work and remind myself of. Like when getting ticked off during rush hour traffic every morning! 🙂

    Gratitude is an action. I take care of things I’m grateful for, including myself and my life.

    I’m not saying your experience will fade, and certainly hope mine will not. I often refer to everything after my “moment of clarity” on March 12, 2006 as gravy.

    “When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?””
    -Sydney J. Harris

    Thanks for reminding me about gratitude today!